At a time in our lives where every single day seems the same and weeks just all roll into one, Palm Springs eerily echoes the mundane state of mind felt by the masses right now. Groundhog Day has practically become a genre of its own and we’ve seen various twists with other films like 50 First Dates or the Netflix series Russian Doll. Luckily, this film from Andy Siara and Max Barbakow is able to stand on its own feet without drawing too many similarities to what’s been done before.
I’m a big Andy Samberg fan. From The Lonely Island to Brooklyn Nine-Nine or even Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, this guy knows how to make us laugh. I would say Andy has taken a side step away from the big laughs here by giving us a more subdued comedic approach. His character Nyles has been stuck in an infinite time loop for an unknown amount of time, though long enough to begin forgetting details from his day to day life. And he’s not even been caught on a good day.
Nyles is stuck at his cheating girlfriend’s best friend’s wedding and eventually accidentally traps the bride’s sister, Sarah (Cristin Milioti) with him. It’s not ideal but the pair live out the same day over and over again, taking different actions which at times have pretty funny consequences. Choreographing a dance routine and then bursting into a busy bar to showcase it, definitely looked so much fun and a good use of their time. Totally the first thing I’ll be doing now if I find myself in a time loop.
They both try out different scenarios in the knowledge that their actions really won’t have major repercussions. Nyles’ sexual conquests are pretty humorous as are Sarah’s increasingly reckless antics. As their day continuously restarts, they (obviously) develop a strong relationship and there is something really engaging when watching Andy and Cristin on screen together. Perhaps their biggest pull is that they are both lost in their real lives, seeming to have no direction and, especially in Sarah’s case, are successful in screwing up. They are both as sad and downtrodden as each other.
There is an uplifting lesson amongst the darkness here about the importance of looking forward and realising your self worth; realising that you should aspire to be the best version of yourself and that as much as you feel it sometimes, you’re never really alone.
Billed as a romcom, Palm Springs is definitely mostly rom with some good com thrown in. It’s a light hearted film with characters you’ll find yourself rooting for, not forgetting a great supporting cast including J.K. Simmons and Superman himself, Tyler Hoechlin. At 90 minutes it maintains a snappy pace, keeping you smiling and engaged and praying for a happy ending.